North Korea resumes broadcast of secret codes to spies

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (UPI) — North Korea resumed broadcasts of coded messages to its covert operatives in the South on Friday.

The missives were sent two weeks after similar messages were sent on Aug. 12, Yonhap reported.

North Korean state radio service Pyongyang Broadcasting delivered the message 45 minutes past midnight, Pyongyang time, after the conclusion of a musical program idolizing former leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.

The message lasted 4 minutes and 30 seconds and was read out loud by a woman.

“At this point for the No. 27 exploration agents I will give you your information technology review assignment for your long-distance university course…On page 509 No. 68, on page 742 No. 69…” the announcer said.

The North Korean broadcast listed a total of five numbers identical to the message delivered exactly two weeks ago.

Broadcasts began on June 24. Since then North Korea has been sending the messages every two weeks.

North Korea suspended the Cold War-style broadcasts to its spies in the South after June 15, 2000, when South Korean President Kim Dae-jung met with Kim Jong Il in Pyongyang.

In a sign of worsening ties between Seoul and Pyongyang, this year marks the first time in 16 years North Korea has resumed sending the messages.

Experts in South Korea remain divided over the real purpose of the broadcasts. Some have said the messages are instructions for operatives’ use, while others have said they are being sent to generate more tensions in the South, according to local newspaper Herald Business.

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